Paul Robinson in Hawaii
I began hearing about the climbing in Hawaii a few years back. It had always intrigued me and until last week it was all a mystery. After booking my plane ticket I could not stop smiling for weeks in preparation for a climbing and surfing trip to Oahu.
After the long flight from Denver to Honolulu I got off the plane, met up with some of the locals and began hearing about projects at different areas all over the island including on the infamous arch itself. I spent the majority of the first few days in the water. It had been a while since I had surfed and to say I was antsy to paddle out would be an understatement.
On my first day of climbing the local crew brought me up to this really nice overhang overlooking the ocean. I climbed the two established lines on the boulder and quickly made a cool first ascent on the left hand side of the boulder. Our next time out climbing, we headed to the arch. I could not believe my eyes; it was massive! One side of the arch was unfortunately wet. I climbed the established boulders on the dry side of the arch and quickly started working out the moves of the project. I figured it all out and managed to make the first ascent of “bottom rock” v10. After a few more days of surfing, we headed up into the jungle again. This time to an area with a project that the locals had put a lot of time and energy into. They were excited to see what I would think of it. This one was definitely the hardest line I completed on the island and required the most amount of work. With the help of some friends, I figured out the beta and began trying it from the bottom. I soon made it through the crux and found myself topping out the boulder!!! I named this one, “gang signs” and graded it v11.
The climbing in Hawaii is really great. The common thought that everything is super sharp is not true. Much of the rock is sloppy and not that coarse to the touch. However, one down fall of climbing in Hawaii are the conditions. It is hot, humid, and in the jungle incredibly buggy. The locals here are dedicated! But, who really cares about conditions when you are climbing in Hawaii!
Great trip and really looking forward to returning someday soon!!!
~ Paul Robinson, prAna Ambassador
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